Top-5: Worst moments in Cleveland Browns history


5. Red Right 88

All you had to do was kick a field goal. In 1981, with a berth in the AFC Championship on the line, the Browns trailed the Raiders 14-12 and a field goal would end the game. Head coach Sam Rutigliano didn’t have any faith in his kicker, so he went for the touchdown. The play called was “Red Right 88,” and quarterback Brian Sipe as told to throw the ball away if no one was open in the end zone. When the time came about though, Sipe threw the ball up and Oakland intercepted, as Cleveland’s back luck in 80’s playoff games officially began.

4. Tim Couch

Tim Couch was the beginning of the end for the Browns’ return to Cleveland. The Browns took him out of Kentucky  with the first overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. Hopes were high for the record-setting signal caller from the Bluegrass State, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Over his career, Couch would throw more interceptions (67) than touchdowns (64), and would finish with a career record of 22-37. From that point on, the team would never be the same as the losing culture began to reach the point where they currently stand.

3. The Drive

Up 20-13 in the 1987 AFC Championship, it looked as if the Browns were on their way to their first ever Super Bowl appearance. Only 5:32 remained, and the Denver Broncos were on their own two-yard line as it seemed like the Browns would emerge victorious. But, as all good Cleveland sports stories go, the Browns found a way to blow the game. Elway led Denver on a 98-yard drive to tie the game with 39 seconds left. The Broncos would then win in overtime, as part of their four-straight AFC Championship wins over Cleveland.

2. The Fumble

All he had to do was hold onto the ball. The Browns were down by five with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter in the AFC Championship in 1988. They were trying to avenge a loss in the same game, to the same team (the Denver Broncos), a year earlier. With the ball in the red zone, Earnest Byner received the ball and looked to be taking the ball to pay dirt, but was stripped at about the one-yard line, just before pay dirt. Denver recovered and would win the game. To me this is worse than The Drive. The Drive was just an incredible series by Elway. The Fumble was just a horrible event set up by horrible ball handling by Byner.

1. Art Modell Moving the Franchise to Baltimore

This move transformed the franchise from one that had a competitive history and a proud tradition, to one that would never seem to recover and would turn into the laughing stock of the league. On November 6, 1995, Modell made the decision to move the Browns to the city of Baltimore, and became the Ravens. It was a shock to Browns fans and it was just so unnecessary. The team did return in ’99, but was never the same, with only one playoff appearance and zero playoff wins since the original move. It also doesn’t help that Baltimore has since won two Super Bowls.

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  • BrownsFan4Ever

    This isn’t fair to Tim Couch at all. The guy was thrown to the wolves and into the game after a brief training camp and after five games on the sideline after Ty Detmer got hurt. We had no offensive line, no offensive weapons, no appreciable game plan and the guy got eaten alive. It was not his fault and as far as I’m concerned, he didn’t hurt the Browns. The Browns ruined his career.

    • Old time Brown

      To blame Tim Couch for ineptness by the entire time as the old line goes the Browns had no tools to give Couch a chance. I liked Couch and thought he could have done btter if he had a O line, running game or a decent set of receivers. The clowns had just come back into the league. The greatest disaster is when Modell bought the team. To blame Brian Sipe for the beginning of the decline is a cheap shot. I saw the game and the pass was down and away and only a super catch kept the Browns out of the SB. But the Raiders deserved to win as they found a way to win the gane and the Browns came up short. Typical of a Steelers fan

  • R fish

    Marty’s prevent defense 2 years in a row! Rot with art!


    NOTHING campares to the death of a wonderful, future BROWNS All-Star, Ernie Davis. I have been a Browns fan since the loss of the Brooklyn Dodger Football team and am dismayed that anyone could even think of anything other than Davis’s loss of life.

  • Old time Brown

    To blame Byner for the loss was a cheap shot. Byner played out his heart to bring my Brownies back for an almost certain defeat is about as cheap as one can get. Return to Pittsburg.